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Contract versus Full Time Employment: A Comparison for IT Professionals

For those looking for additional information on this topic, we expand upon the idea of contractor or full-time employee in a new blog post available here.

Contract versus Full Time EmployeeIt’s a great time to work in the IT industryUnemployment in the technology market is down to 2.4%. IT salaries increased by 3.9% over 2015. There are more opportunities to work in a certain role, technology or with a specific company.

Another benefit to being an IT professional is the amount of contracting that happens in this industry.  While contractors exist across many types of jobs, it’s extremely prevalent in technology.  IT professionals get the choice of whether they want to work as an independent contractor or if they want to work full time for their employer.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to working contract versus full time employment. It depends on the person’s situation and what’s right for them.  However, there are pros and cons to both.  If you’re considering leaving your job for a contract or full time role, check out our advantages and disadvantages to both below:

Contract Employment

The biggest benefit to being an IT contractor is receiving a higher wage per hour than a full time employee would.  Employers don’t have to pay contractors benefits, unemployment insurance or holiday and vacation pay (this can also be found under contractor disadvantages!) so IT contractors are able to make a higher paycheck because those things aren’t being deducted out.

Also, contractors usually work for a specified length of time on a contract.  Working a 6 or 12 month contract versus full time employment allows them to gain experience on many different projects, across various companies and industries.  Additionally, these companies are likely to use different technologies, giving the contractors the ability to constantly add new skills and experiences to their resume.

Another benefit is that certain IT roles receive considerable compensation for their work. For example, IT Contractors in Denver are highly sought after if they are experienced in mobile development or QA analysis. Each tech hub is going to have its own demands, so it helps to know what is the most popular.

As we already mentioned above, while contractors make a higher wage than a full time employees in that same role, the contractor does not receive any benefits (health, 401K, etc.) or PTO from their employer.  Contractors need to purchase it on their own, which can be a costly expense.

Another disadvantage is that sometimes contractors don’t feel like they’re apart of the company they work for.  Full time employees get to know each other and build camaraderie.  This can be difficult for contractors as they are only employed for a specified amount of time before they move on to another company.

Also, contractors are constantly renewing their job search, so those who get exhausted by the process will be ill at ease. However, this problem can easily be overcome by working with a staffing firm (which handles the search in your place).

Full Time Employment

As we just mentioned, full time employees get to know their coworkers and build relationships with them inside the workplace.  This not only helps increase teamwork with in day-to-day projects but also helps with networking for the future.  Full time IT employees get to know the company as well as the technology they are working with and get familiar with it, making them an expert in their field.

We also mentioned, full time employees get the advantage of having their company provide them with benefits such as health, retirement and PTO.  Some IT professionals value the security these benefits add.

The biggest downside to being a full time employee could be the opposite of what we just listed as a benefit (depending on how you look at it).  Contract versus full time employees have the ability to work across many industries and with various technologies.

Some IT pros love being able to move around to different jobs and companies.  It could be seen that full time employees are missing out on opportunities to increase their skill-sets or gain additional expertise.

Picking Contract versus Full Time Employment

What one IT professional might see as a disadvantage, another might see as a benefit.  It just depends on the goals you have for yourself and your career.  The good news is, that whether you choose contract versus full time employment, there are plenty of opportunities in the technology field for you today.

EdgeLink is looking for talented IT employees for BOTH contract and full time positions.
View our open jobs here.